When I was writing The Clink, a web series I wrote with Brendan Carr, Joel Rickenbach, Jim Burns, and occasionally Andrew Mitchell, Brendan would often regale us with entertaining stories about Elvis Presley.
Brendan had been a guest star on a previous web series I produced with Joel called The League.
Editor's Note: Brendan is the Magician
That's when I found out that he and I shared a common love for the King of Rock and Roll...it's rather obvious Brendan is a fan of 50s music, because he looks like he probably rolled with Carl Perkins and the like.
Each week we'd all coax Brendan into sharing a new twisted tale to ease us into our writing sessions.
Joel and I had been doing a podcast called "You've Got Geek On You" (an homage to Shaun of the Dead's, "You've got red on you, did you know that?") The show has since been shortened to simply "You've Got Geek." We asked Brendan to join the podcast because of his unique voice and veracious love of ALL things "Geek."
Week after week, long after The Clink had wrapped, Brendan and I would recount various strange Elvis stories. We'd talk about doing a special "You've Got Geek" episode or maybe even a podcast of it's own, specifically about the man we called, "E."
Things got busy, life got crazy and my short sabbatical from the podcast turned into 2 years.
Then, last fall, Brendan and I went out for drinks. We discussed the podcast and talked of structuring it like an Improv montage. (Brendan had turned my on to MANY character driven Improv podcasts such as Comedy Bang Bang and Superego). This would almost be a homage to those podcasts...or, Elvis willing, a podcast to sit among my favorite shows on iTunes.
I recruited various comedian/actors to come play the parts.
The first person I thought of, was Lew Indellini. We had done a play together in early 2014 (immediately following the birth of my daughter). The late night rehearsals, where I was sitting in a corner learning my lines while missing my wife and daughter who were at home, were made easier in meeting Lew and finding out (among other things) that he too was a HUGE fan of podcasts such as Superego. When it came time to cast "Elvis, And" I knew I wanted him on board.
*Editor's Note: He was also once my parents-in-law's mail carrier!
Then, Adam Wahlberg. Adam and I had done various shows, including "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," as well as an original musical I wrote with Joe Trainor (of "The Joe Trainor Trio" fame) called, "On The Air." We also did a murder mystery dinner together that was maybe the most amazing, punk rock, murder mystery that ever was! We toyed with doing a web series based on those characters, which I haven't ruled out. Adam also helps me with my "day job." He's been in front of the camera for A LOT of safety reg videos. So of course he's gotta be part of my Memphis Mafia!
Jim McCabe. I have known, "The Voice" since I was 6 years old. In our first meeting, Brendan said, "McCabe for the Colonel, right?" You're goddamn right! Jim also jumped in to do some gratis VO work. I hate asking friends to ply their trades for no payment. But Jim was happy to do it, and even offered to do far more.
Rounding out the cast for season 1 is one of my fellow ComedySportz players, Steve Roney. Steve and I had been working on another project, and when I mentioned "Elvis, And" he said, "Oh that sounds fun." I asked if he'd be interested in doing it and the next thing I knew a microphone was in front of him. Perfect.
Finally, though not a cast member (yet), his presences is felt in EVERY episode, Matt Casarino. He, along with Jill Knapp, provide the rocking rockabilly back bone that is the music of the entire series. From the theme song to the transition music between scenes, Matt was only too gracious to take on every weird (Elvislike) request I had. We now own a monkey together. Seriously, Matt & Jill are a FORCE in the band Hot Breakfast (HOT BREAKFAST!) If you haven't and can, SEE THEM LIVE!
So here we are. The first episode of what I hope will be a fun monthly show for people to enjoy. Episodes are approximately 30 minutes in length. Maybe they help ease a part of your commute during the month. Or give you a laugh while taking a walk on the weekend. Or even just allow you some much needed humor as you unwind at the end of the day.
Taking the Improv tenet of "Yes, And..." and adding a pair of side burns to it, here is the monthly podcast, "Elvis, And."
Look for new episodes the first of the month through February 2016.
CLICK HERE for Episode 1: "Elvis, And Scatter"